Barriers & Challenges to Advancement

The stigma for women to pursue STEM careers starts at an early age. Stereotypes about the difficulty of certain subjects and subtle cultural and societal cues about “masculine” and “feminine” subject matter discourage girls from pursuing these studies. Also, technology toys and video games tend to be designed and marketed for boys rather than girls. According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, high school girls associate computer science with “male geeks,” and tend to avoid science and technology clubs and activities. In higher education and STEM careers, women often report feeling isolated, marginalized and hampered by a lack of female mentors and role models. More effort is needed to encourage women to pursue advanced studies and careers in STEM through networking, hiring more women into positions of seniority and instituting parent-friendly advanced degree programs and research projects.

Media Ignores the Importance of Housework in Divorce Rates and Career Advancement

By Londa Schiebinger and Lori Nishiura Mackenzie

ORIGINALLY POSTED MAY 23, 2010 ON THE HUFFINGTON POST

The Telegraph picked up a recently published London School of Economics research about housework. They were in lonely company. The piece did not see the light of day in the Financial Times, The New York Times or the Washington Post. Why not? Could it be that housework is not considered a serious topic?


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Congressional Briefing: Making WIA Work for Women

This document includes commentary given by Carolyn Williams, Ariane Hegewisch, Susan Rees, Marie-Louise Caravatti, and Mimi Lufkin as part of a Congressional briefing about the WIA on April 7, 2010.

Question: There are currently 17 accountability measures in WIA, states complain that all the do is measure. How much more can/ should we ask of them? How does this fit into the discussions to get "common data" across federal programs?

Mimi Lufkin: Accountability measures speak to policy priorities. They are important. That said, such performance measures would not require additional data collection - this data is already being collected, it is just not being analyzed; and all the analysis would require is an additional computer programming command.

URL: 
http://iwpr.org/pdf/WIA_notes.pdf

Sex Matters: Gender Differences in a Professional Setting

This paper shows that gender diferences exist in a professional setting where managers have a similar educational background and work experience. Using data from the U.S. mutual fund industry the authors found that female managers are more risk averse, follow less extreme and more consistent investment styles and trade less than male managers.
Although female and male managers do not differ in average performance, female managers receive signicantly lower inflows. This suggests that they might be stereotyped as less skilled.

URL: 
http://www.cfr-cologne.de/download/workingpaper/cfr-06-01.pdf

FAST FACT: Women Continue to Lag in STEM Fields

By Kyla Bender-Baird

According to the recently released American Association for University Women (AAUW) report, Why So Few?, women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, especially at the upper levels. True, progress has been made, but women earn only 20% of bachelor's degrees in physics, engineering and computer science. So what's the hold up? AAUW's report delves into the social and environmental factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in STEM professions. As AAUW explains, "biological gender differences, yet to be well understood, may play a role, [but] are not the whole story." AAUW turns instead to societal beliefs, learning environments, and gender stereotypes to explain the persistant disparities. To learn more, click here.


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